June is LGBTQ Pride Month, which means there are parades in every major city across America. You better be prepared: The annual celebrations throughout the country are crowded and calamitous—not to mention summertime sweltering—and a plan of attack is necessary if you’re going to navigate the crowds. Here, our top picks for food, drinks, and fun in five of America’s gayest cities.
Boston (June 13th)
Where’s the Parade: Copley Square to City Hall Plaza
Where to Stay: The Oasis Guest House, a cute B&B that is walking distance from the parade and affordably priced.
Where to Shop: Bobby from Boston, a preppy vintage store filled with old Hawaiian shirts and cool sunglasses.
Where to Boozy Brunch Before: Stephanie’s on Newbury, a nearby local favorite.
Where to Party After: Club Cafe, a gay Boston institution with a dance club and a video room.
Los Angeles (June 12-14)
Where’s the Parade: West Hollywood
Where to Stay: The Petit Ermitage, a gay-friendly hotel with a rooftop pool and amazing views.
Where to Shop: Mollusk Surf Shop, a Venice store that will have you prepped for the June heat with its beachy clothes.
Where to Boozy Brunch Before: Eveleigh, for an incredible oysters and an outdoor patio.
Where to Party After: The Abbey, one of the most famous gay bars in L.A. and a kind of unofficial Pride hotspot.
New York (June 28th)
Where’s the Parade: Sixth Avenue and through the West Village
Where to Stay: The Jane, which is close to parade insanity but still hidden enough that you can escape the madness.
Where to Shop: The Leather Man, the original Greenwich Village gay leather store that isn’t just for hardcore cowhide fanatics.
Where to Boozy Brunch Before: Horchata, a Mexican spot with views of the parade and delicious spiked horchata.
Where to Party After: The NYC Pride VIP Rooftop Party, which offers fresh rooftop breezes and some of the best DJs in the world.
San Francisco (June 28th)
Where’s the Parade: The Castro
Where to Stay: The Parker Guest House, a charming B&B right in the thick of gay San Francisco.
Where to Shop: Barney’s will have you club-ready with an assortment of cool Givenchy and Saint Laurent clothes.
Where to Boozy Brunch Before: Starbelly, an enduring favorite with an ideal covered backyard.
Where to Party After: San Francisco Badlands, a longtime nightclub in the Castro that still has some of the best dancing in the city.
Chicago (June 28)
Where’s the Parade: The Halstead Strip
Where to Stay: Majestic Hotel, a boutique hotel in the heart of Boystown.
Where to Shop: Beatnix, a vintage store in Boystown that specializes in drag for both men and women.
Where to Boozy Brunch Before: Halstead’s Bar and Grill, a gay favorite with $25 all you can drink mimosas and screwdrivers.
Where to Party After: Sidetrack, a Chicago mainstay that has a rooftop deck.
Photo by Guillaume Paumier/Flickr